The expansion of the South London Gallery designed by 6a architects provides new gallery spaces, a café, a flat for an artist in residence and a new education building. The original top lit gallery is one of the finest art spaces in London. The special character of the building has long inspired artists and has played a vital role in forming the slg’s international reputation for shows by contemporary British artists such as Ryan Gander, Steve McQueen, Eva Rothschild and Michael Landy, alongside those by internationally established figures such as Chris Burden and Alfredo Jaar.
The extension to the gallery is made of three distinct interventions that transform the gallery from a singular gallery interior into an expanded sequence of interiors and exterior spaces hosting a range of different functions simultaneously.
Firstly, the neighbouring derelict house at no 67 has been refurbished to create a café on the ground floor, exhibition spaces above and a flat for an artist-in residence on the second floor. The new spaces follow the arrangement of the original but the architectural language is abstracted and reduced create a ghost-like image of the former house.
Behind the house a three-storey extension has been built to create a double height room leading to a link back to the gallery and, through the new Fox Garden to the Clore Education Studio.
At the rear of the site, 6a has designed a new education building on the footprint of the original lecture theatre that was destroyed after World War II. Two surviving brick walls provided the natural start for the building which links the Fox Garden on one side and the gallery’s garden on the other. Continuing the architectural tradition established by the original buildings, the Clore Studio is a generous single volume topped by a central lantern and also develops themes from the house with exposed roof structure to create calmness and warmth.
Like so much at the South London Gallery, the overall simplicity of the space hides some surprise; the west wall pivots to open a continuous field between the back garden and the interior. At night the walls and shutters close the whole building down into an abstract dark box.
65 Peckham Road, London SE5 8UH
Tom Emerson, Stephanie Macdonald, Takeshi Hayatsu (project associate), Max Beckenbauer, Alessandro Cairo, Sylvie Duvoisin, Trevor Brown, Lucia Frescaroli, Max Retegui, Mariana Simoes, Susanne Sauter, Eva-Maria Stadelmann, Katharina Schworer, Jonathan Wong
South London Gallery
Jane Wernick Associates
Serge Lai Engineers Ltd.
John Perkins Projects